Step Aside, Waffogato, Houston Has Five Awesome Affogatos
Affogatos are one of the simplest, yet most enjoyable Italian desserts. In Italian, affogato means "drowned," which is exactly what happens -- a scoop of ice cream or gelato gets doused with a piping hot shot of espresso. This "drowning" action creates a complex and satisfying treat with just two ingredients. Once the strong espresso is poured over the cool and smooth gelato, you're forced to eat it all before it melts.
Photo by Molly Dunn Affogatos are simple, yet perfectly satisfy any sweet craving.
Pastry chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the cronut, has released his latest creation, the waffogato. It's waffle-shaped vanilla ice cream packed with tapioca balls and pieces of Belgian waffle. Ansel pours maple syrup espresso on top to melt the ice cream and reveal the hidden ingredient gems. This twist on an affogato was revealed via Instagram before Ansel began selling it at his New York City bakery on Friday, May 9. Unfortunately, we can't try this creation, but that doesn't mean we can't check out other coffee-based beverage/desserts in Houston. Here are the five best affogatos we can (and should) order in the Bayou city.
5. Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
Photo by Henry Thiel Shaved ice covered in espresso is a refreshing twist on the classic affogato.
At Giacomo's you have two choices for espresso-drenched desserts -- the affogato and the granita al caffè. Giacomo's places one giant scoop of creamy gelato (your choice of flavor, but vanilla is always best) into a tall rounded glass, then pours hot espresso on top. You'll need a long spoon to dig to the bottom and scoop up the melted gelato and warm Italian espresso. But, if you like more crunch in your dessert, opt for the granita al caffè, shaved ice covered in espresso and topped with a beautiful swirl of fluffy whipped cream. Either are the perfect choice for an after-dinner dessert or mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Osteria Mazzantini recently updated its dessert menu and now features a tiramisu affogato. Creamy mascarpone gelato takes the place of the mascarpone custard layer in tiramisu, while pound cake substitutes for the soft lady fingers. All of this gets doused in hot espresso, just as the lady fingers are soaked in an coffee liqueur.
Photo by Randall Hollomon Why have just one dessert, when you can have two?
3. Ciao Bello
If you love the sweet and creamy cannoli at Ciao Bello, then you're going to love this new affogato creation. Ciao Bello now serves a cannoli affogato, which is essentially a deconstructed sweet cannoli "drowning" in bitter espresso. Dip the biscotti into the dessert to soften the Italian cookie -- it's a much more indulgent way to enjoy coffee and biscotti.
Petite Sweets offers a lot of sugary treats such as macarons, cupcakes and cookies alongside gelato, dipped cones and custard. Owners Susan Molzan and Liz Walsh make their frozen custard with cream, sugar and eggs. The River Oaks bakery swirls its homemade custard into a tall cup then covers it with fresh-brewed espresso. The coffee sinks to the bottom, melting the creamy vanilla custard --pair it with a macaron or cake ball.
Photo by Darla Guillen You want some ice cream with a side of espresso?
1. Eatsie Boys
Chef Matt Marcus creates a variety of insanely "awesome" ice cream flavors at Eatsie Boys Cafe -- the ice cream is deemed, "Frozen Awesome" after all. This affogato features one of the most popular ice cream flavors, Shipley's Glazed & Confused Donut -- think of a Shipley's doughnut, but in ice cream form. It's served in a giant bowl with a side of piping hot espresso.